October 2017

Database is more than persistence. It is shared. My thoughts about Microservice Database.

The development teams often see the database as a ‘persistence layer’ only. And sometimes it is mentioned that the database is always the cause of the problems, especially when implementing continuous integration and trying to be agile. Then cames the idea to have this ‘persistence layer’ in an isolated environment, such as a docker container, with the database for each developer. However, this overlooks the real cause of the problems, which is not the persistence function of the database, but the fact that it is shared. And when you share something, in a multi-user environment, you reach another level of complexity. And if you are not prepared for that, you perceive it as a problem.

This philosophical blog post contains some cool words which, in my opinion, must be carefully considered when dealing database: agile, persistence, stateless, docker, microservices, stateless, NoSQL, containers, lake, cloud,…

Archivelog deletion policy on Data Guard configuration

The deletion policy on a dataguard configuration should be:

for the site where you don’t backup. It can be the standby or the primary.


for the site where you do the backups. It can be the primary or the standby.

I’ve always configured it in this way, but I recently discovered that the order of the subclause matters. Do not CONFIGURE ARCHIVELOG DELETION POLICY TO BACKED UP 1 TIMES TO DISK APPLIED ON ALL STANDBY; because no archivelogs will be reclaimable, and your recovery area will be full. This is probably a bug. I’ll update this post when I have more information about this.

Oracle 12.1 big table caching IO code path

Recently I was triggered about the ‘automatic big table caching’ feature introduced in Oracle version with Roger Macnicol’s blogpost about Oracle database IO and caching or not caching (https://blogs.oracle.com/smartscan-deep-dive/when-bloggers-get-it-wrong-part-1 https://blogs.oracle.com/smartscan-deep-dive/when-bloggers-get-it-wrong-part-2). If you want to read something about the feature in general, search for the feature name, you’ll find several blogposts about it.

VirtualBox 5.2 exports the VM to the Oracle Cloud

The new release of Oracle VM VirtualBox (aka VirtualBox) is there with a new functionality to export a VM to the Oracle Cloud Compute (aka Oracle Cloud Infrastructure). That can be interesting to prepare a VM on my laptop and move it to the Cloud to get it accessible from everywhere. Here’s my first try. In my opinion, it’s idea but probably need further evolution.


Here is what is new: in addition to .ova you can export to an Oracle Public Cloud image:

nVision Performance Tuning: 2. Effects of Performance Options

This blog post is part of a series that discusses how to get optimal performance from PeopleSoft nVision reporting as used in General Ledger.

In this post, I examine the effect of different settings for the tree performance options on how the SQL is generated.  It is common, to see different performance options in use on different trees in the same SQL query.  It is important to be able to look at a piece of SQL generated by nVision and to be able to work out which performance options have been set on which trees.

Truncated CTAS statements seem to be no longer shortened

Many bloggers have already discussed that Oracle can truncate the text of a “create table as select” statement to 20 characters depending on your version and patch level. This can be a problem in case a CTAS statement is a resource hog, yet you don’t see the SQL text that is needed for troubleshooting. A quick search on My Oracle Support reveals this can happen on, and systems unless patched of course. This has been bugging me for quite some time now, and merits a blog post.

Reproducing the offending behaviour

Oracle has provided a number of patches over time to fix this undesirable short-cutting of the SQL text. I wanted to reproduce the issue on 12.1 to demonstrate the effect. To my shame I have to admit that since 12.2 has come out I have somewhat neglected my 12.1 lab system. It was quite a bit out of date, which was useful for this blog post as it will turn out.

Friday Philosophy – Smart or Smart-Arse?

Many of you know what a “Smart-Arse” is. For those who do not…

A “Smart-arse” a person who is irritating because they behave as if they know everything or try to catch you out by misleading you.

A smart person will look at your problem and say something like “have you tried checking the array size?” and, 8 times out of 10, their input will help you solve your problem. It may not be THE answer but it makes you think about root causes.

A Smart-arse will say something more like “well, I would never have your problem as I would not have joined a company full of Java Nerds!!!”. Yeah, maybe that would have avoided my specific problem #1, but it is of no practical worth right now. .

Why being wrong can be awesome

OK, Now that I’ve started the post with a nice click-bait heading, let’s get down to the business of being wrong. Smile

I did a lot of conference presentations last year, and the great thing about that for me was that I got to meet a lot of new people in the Oracle community in the Developer and DBA space. One of the questions that came up over and over again was about putting one’s knowledge “out there” in the community and how to deal with the repercussions of that.  In particular, “What if you publish something that is proven wrong?”

Here’s the thing about being wrong …. there’s two likely outcomes:

Linux for the SQL Server DBA- Part II

So we’ve covered a few basics of a Linux host in Part I

  • The File System
  • Users, groups
  • Basic Commands with basic arguments
  • And file and directory permissions

Hopefully, what I share next will build on the first post and enhance your knowledge as you move forward with Linux.

Question Time

It’s that time of year again – the UKOUG Tech conference is approaching and I’ve organised a panel session on the Cost Based Optimizer.

This year I’ve got Christian Antognini, Nigel Bayliss, Maria Colgan and special guest star, all the way from Australia, Richard Foote on the panel, with Neil Chandler and Martin Widlake taking on their inimitable role of MCs.

If you’ve got any questions you’d like to put to the panel, you will have a chance to write them down on the day, but it would be nice to have a few supplied in advance in the comment below.  Tactical, strategic, technical, or just plain curious – this is a panel that can tell you what can be done, what shouldn’t be done, and how to do the things you shouldn’t do but sometimes have to.